Update, September 25, 2020 (11:30 am CT): The new Xbox app is also available through TestFlight on iOS, and enables Xbox Remote Play on Apple's restrictive mobile platform.
What you need to know
- Microsoft is working on unifying their entire Xbox ecosystem with a cohesive design focused on speed and fluidity.
- The Xbox beta app for Android is now getting its first update featuring this new design, and has been rebuilt from the ground up.
- The update also enables new features, like a unified notification inbox, search feature, and social features.
- Xbox Consoles Streaming (Preview) also rolls out to all players as Xbox remote play, and players can sign-in to multiple devices with their Xbox Live account.
All Xbox news today may be talking about the massive news that Xbox acquired Zenimax Media, the owner of game studios like Bethesda, but Microsoft apparently isn't done dropping good news for Xbox gamers. The New Xbox Experience, which we reported on last month, is officially rolling out to the Xbox beta app for Android, according to a new post from Xbox. The update fully rebuilds the app from the ground-up, introducing a new design, new features, and (hopefully) new speed.
The old Xbox app was slow, unreliable, and felt very bloated at times. I can confirm after installing the new update on my phone that the app feels faster to launch and navigate, and looks absolutely gorgeous (matching the Xbox Game Pass app in design). However, the new update is far more than a simple redesign, and also lends the app new features (as well as a platform to launch other new features). This also brings the app in-line with what we're expecting on the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S when they launch on November 10, with pre-orders opening tomorrow.
With the New Xbox Experience in the Xbox mobile app, you'll get:
- A unified notification inbox. Xbox has already rolled out a unified notification inbox for players to receive new updates on games, friends, and more, and now you can get this same inbox on your phone. Players can manage all their notifications and alerts on the go.
- Xbox Party and Chat. This was already a feature in the old Xbox app, but the features receive new focus and should be far more useful this time around. Keep in touch from your phone with messages and chat, and be able to do it no matter what device the other player is using.
- New sharing features. The new Xbox app is making it easier than ever to access, download, and share captures and screenshots from your Xbox device. The app already has built-in support for multiple social media platforms as well, like Instagram and Snapchat, and you can share to multiple friends at a time.
- Profile highlights. A new area in your profile (and profiles for your friends) allow you to quickly access new information, shared captures and more. Think of it as your personal feed for your Xbox profile.
- Remote console set-up. Using the new Xbox app, players can now remotely set-up new consoles, by remotely installing games, choosing settings, and more, even while the Xbox is updating. This will be perfect for next-gen consoles when they come out.
- Universal search. The new Xbox app includes a universal search function that can find and look-up games, gamers, app features, and more all in one place.
Finally, the update for the Xbox app is also enabling two new features for Xbox gamers. Xbox remote play, previously known as Xbox Console Streaming (Preview) is the local counterpart to Xbox Cloud Gaming, and allows players to stream games directly from their console to their phone, even while on the go. This feature is no longer restricted to Xbox Insiders, and can now be accessed by anyone using the new Xbox app. To go along with this, Xbox is enabling a new feature that allows players to sign-in to multiple devices at once using their Xbox Live Account. This means you can watch and use multiple apps at the same time from multiple devices, and still be playing a game on one.
On a normal day, this would be big news for Xbox fans. Nonetheless, this is a great update that looks to massively improve the mobile Xbox experience, showing that Microsoft is serious about making Xbox great everywhere. Are you installing the new Xbox beta app? Let us know in the comments below what you think!
Update, September 25, 2020 (11:30 am CT)—New Xbox beta is also available on iOS through TestFlight.
The new Xbox app featuring a full redesign and a host of new features is also available on iOS through TestFlight, allowing iOS users to access the fresh interface and even Xbox Remote Play. Now players can stream Xbox games directly from their console to their iPhone, circumventing in part the lack of Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS. For now, the newly updated Xbox app is only available through TestFlight, so there are limited numbers of available downloads, which may already be filled.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.